Dialysis is a treatment that takes on the job of the kidneys should the kidneys fail. Dialysis takes care of four functions of the kidneys:
- Removes waste and excess fluid from the blood to prevent build-up
- Helps controls blood pressure
- Maintains a safe level of chemicals in the body (such as potassium, sodium and chloride)
- Removes toxins such as drugs or poison from the bloodstream
Most patients begin dialysis when their kidneys have lost more than 85 percent of their ability to filter waste. Dialysis will continue for the rest of their lives or until they receive a kidney transplant. This is called end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
End-stage renal disease is caused by conditions such as diabetes, kidney cancer, drug use, high blood pressure or other kidney conditions. Dialysis is not a cure for ESRD. There are two types of dialysis:
- Hemodialysis: veins in the arm, leg or neck
- Peritoneal dialysis: abdomen
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Research Medical Center offers a warm and caring outpatient dialysis clinic to suit the needs of dialysis patients.
The Transplant Institute is a subsidiary of Research Medical Center and specializes in kidney/pancreas transplantation. Learn more about The Transplant Institute.